50 Brutally Honest Pieces Of Advice You Should Follow In Your Twenties

50 Brutally Honest Pieces Of Advice You Should Follow In Your Twenties

Ask Reddit has some important advice to pass down to anyone in their twenties.

1. You can talk back to your brain. Talk back to your bad thoughts and tell them they’re wrong. Not every bad thought is a reality. Also, bad days are okay. A bad day does not equal a bad life.

2. Being an adult is about running into problems and in one way or another overcoming all of them. No putting off or discarding the ones you don’t like. They’re your problems and you have to deal with and resolve them.

3. Don’t quit things just because you’re not naturally gifted at them. There’s a lot to be gained from being part of a team even if you’re not the star player.

Also, no one is looking at you and no one cares what you’re doing! They’re worried about themselves.

4. Stop pining over people and just ask them out as soon as you realize you like them.

If their answer is yes, then yay! If their answer is no, they you don’t waste a bunch of energy having a crush on them when it won’t go anywhere.

I finally followed that advice and it’s working out great.

5. Don’t screw up your life over a boy/girl. I’ve seen enough people destroy their entire life just because of a person not worthy of their time and energy. Spend your time over something worthwhile, instead. You’ll be thankful.

6. Your parents are not always right, morally OR factually.

And sometimes, they are more concerned about their own reputation than your wellbeing.

Basically, your parents are only human.

7. You’re not (necessarily) doing anything wrong, your 20s are supposed to be difficult. The idea that they’re your best days is fiction spread by nostalgic adults, from an era where their lives unfolded differently. Your real peak can occur in your early or mid thirties, if you make intelligent decisions and bear unpleasantness now rather than deferring it to later. If you put off inevitable drudgery, work and stress, you don’t gain the years before it as you’ll constantly be stressing about the upcoming stuff. Do it now. Yes, it sucks. It will be over.

Also. Save. More. Money.

8. If you rely on “being smart” you will lose every time to people who rely on working hard.

9. Don’t let your happiness depend solely on someone else.

10. Take care of your teeth / get as much done while on your parents dental plans as possible. Necessary shit and preventative procedures. Cuz holy fuck, when you’re 24 with no coverage and you break a tooth, it’s going to take you sooo fucking long to get it fixed and paid off.

11. Not everyone will like you. Stop trying to please everyone.

12. Don’t be so desperate for love and affection you find it in the absolute worst places. Wait your time until you’re old enough and don’t be like me and make a million mistakes you’ll regret on abusive men who never deserved the time of day.

13. It’s ok to go in to a skilled trade and not HAVE to go to college and wrack up thousands of dollars worth of debt.

14. People will give you incorrect information – sometimes intentionally, be it out of good or bad motives, sometimes because they themselves are misinformed and sometimes because they plain do not know.

Some of this information will be delivered with high confidence, some with low, but the projected confidence level is no indication of correctness.

You will have to learn for yourself what is correct and what isn’t, when to trust, how to assess, how to reflect and evaluate, and sometimes you’ll get it right and sometimes you won’t.

15. Even if you don’t think you’ll make it into adulthood, plan like you will.

16. You don’t have to be the center of attention to be noticed/liked. Just be a warm, positive presence and people will enjoy hanging out with you.

17. Learn self-discipline. Especially over your mind. Then you can wait out a lot of your own problems. If you rush life because “you can’t wait any longer” you will have so many griefs. Disciplined patience can do a world of wonders.

18. Never finance a want or luxury item. Only take out a loan on a need.

19. Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone is at a different stage in life. Sure…you’re the same age or around the same age, but it doesn’t mean you’re in the same stage of life. Do what’s best for you in your moment of life. Do what makes you HAPPY!

20. You can’t make someone like you. It doesn’t matter how much you like them. And also, the fact they don’t like you is not a reflection on your value as a person or partner.

21. Get your sleep. Being on 6-8 hours of sleep meant that each hour I was awake I could be so much more productive. When I was running on 3 hours of sleep, even though I was awake for 5 more hours a day, my hours were largely unproductive because I would get distracted easily, doze off, or just generally feel miserable.

When I got my sleep (not just one night. Gotta get 6-8 hours every night for a couple weeks), every hour I was awake I could accomplish what I was able to do in 3 or 4 hours when I was tired. Studying for exams was a breeze because i could actually focus. Everything was easier because my brain was clear and not muddled up and tired.

Having consistent sleep for an extended period is like being a version of yourself with super powers. Try it.


22. Speak up more. You’re not gonna be heard if you stay silent.

23. Don’t approach every relationship as ‘the one you’re going to marry’. Just have fun and enjoy your youth. Don’t take everything so seriously.

24. If you don’t think the tattoo looks good, say so. Don’t assume the tattoo artist knows better than you do. Would have saved me a lot of grief and, hopefully not too far in the future, money for removal/a cover up.

25. Sometimes crying and being sad is okay, you don’t always have to keep it together.

26. If the shoes aren’t 100% comfortable in the store, leave them there.

27. Not all success stories require a traditional college degree and the associated debt.

If someone will talk smack to you about someone else, they’ll talk smack about you to others.

28. It’s okay to cut family out of your life.

29. There is nothing wrong with having a mental health issue. More than half the people are on some sort of drug for depression, anxiety, or something else…

So go see a doctor already.

30. Do not be afraid to fall in love; more than once either. Especially in your younger years. Fall in love, be happy for you, gain experience in relationships, take emotional chances/risks and remind yourself that it’s okay to have your heart broken sometimes. It’s going to happen eventually. And it’s okay to feel hurt about it. Learn to grow emotionally from it. You’ll be a better person and have an astounding sense of emotional maturity by your mid-to-late 20s, which is when it really counts.

31. Don’t be yourself; be the best version of yourself.

32. Just go for it. You are going to regret not taking the chance more than you will regret the failure/rejection.

33. Pay yourself first. Take 10% ( or $10 – anything) of your paycheck and put it in an IRA and don’t think about it. 65 year old you will thank you. Compounded interest is a beautiful thing. Also, buy a rental property as soon as possible. Passive income will make a difference later in life.

34. Nothing matters as much as seems to at the time.

35. “Do what you love” is bullshit for most of us. Do something you like and that provides you with the conditions to do what you love on your free time.

36. Don’t spend so much time thinking about what other people think of you (they care more about themselves than you). Spend more time discovering yourself and loving/accepting who you are instead of wasting time doing things to get their approval.

That, and… When you thought that (whatever drama/comment/snarky remark etc) was about you, it wasn’t really about you. It was about them.

37. Success greets you in private and failure slaps you in public.

38. Appreciate your parents. Tell them you love them. They won’t be here forever.

39. It CAN be very difficult to stop something negative once you’ve tried it once and it works.

Drugs, Smoking, Drinking, Overeating, Swearing, Cheating, Stealing, Lying etc.

40. “Apply ass to chair.”

It’s from a story Raymond Carver tells when asked how he was such a prolific writer. Changed my life when I heard it. There is no other substitute for getting shit done than sitting down and getting the shit done.

41. Don’t procrastinate.

42. Treat everyone with respect. Friends, family, coworkers, doormen, waitstaff, hairdressers, etc. Everyone deserves dignity. Its seems a little thing, but its huge to those on the receiving end.

43. Challenge everything. Don’t just accept something as true just because someone you trust says it is.

44. Learn to love yourself because those that are supposed to love arent always there for you.

45. There are good people in the world that will be glad to help if you reach out. Obviously there’s plenty of shitty people out there too, but don’t be afraid or too prideful to ask for help when you need it.

46. Dump him the first time he cheats.

47. Only take advice from people who are qualified to give it. (Yes, I see the irony)

People are really only qualified to give advice about things that they know and have experienced themselves, yet they give advice as if they know the whole world. Just because they are older or have been successful in one field doesn’t mean they know anything about anything other than their life and their field.

48. Don’t let compliments get to your head and don’t let insults get to your heart.

49. Surround yourself with people that treat you well. Anyone else, whether they are family or friends, can be pushed away if they want to treat you like shit. Life isn’t about sticking around in unhealthy relationships, it is about cultivating the ones that actually matter.

I recently got a call from my dad telling me how much of a lazy piece of shit (his words) I am for skipping Thanksgiving and not helping build a fence. I have to work to make ends meet and I am starting to think I don’t have time for his toxic bullshit.

50. Value the people in your life. Don’t take them for granted. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.